Power Dialing, Parallel Dialing, Predictive Dialing, Auto Dialing - What's the Difference?
So many dialers, so little time.
If you've spent even a few minutes looking into dialers for your team, you've likely fallen into the dialer rabbit hole; with dozens of available products, each with different pricing schemes and marketing, it's difficult to tell how each one differs, let alone which is best for your team and budget.
One of the more confusing parts of the dialerverse is the array of dialer "types": power dialers, predictive dialers, autodialers, parallel dialers — the list goes on and on, and the differences among dialers are the most common questions we get in sales calls. In this post, we’re going to compare and explain the differences between power dialing, parallel dialing, and predictive dialing.
Power Dialing and Auto Dialing
Power dialing and Auto Dialing are umbrella terms for dialers that go beyond the bare minimum — that is, dialers that automatically go through lists of numbers and save reps time. Typically, dialers branded specifically as "power dialers" call one number at a time, immediately going from call to call as each one finishes. They also generally have integrations with CRMs, engagement platforms, etc. to sync dispositions and call outcomes. Aircall is one popular example of a power dialer.
While having an auto dialer definitely provides a productivity boost over punching one number after another on a phone, it still falls short compared to newer classes of tools. Unlike parallel dialers, power dials are restricted to calling one number at a time, and given ever-decreasing call rates, this can mean that reps can still wait hours before entering a live conversation.
Predictive dialing is a paradigm generally used for call centers, or for sales floors where reps don't manage their own individual lists. Predictive dialing uses algorithms to predict when an agent will be available and when a call will be answered. The dialer automatically dials the next number with the aim of putting the agent on a call at just the right time. Predictive dialing increases efficiency by cutting down on unproductive time, like dealing with unanswered calls or busy tones. This method is ideal for larger call centers who want to significantly increase the number of calls made in a shorter amount of time, but isn't relevant for sales teams where reps dial independently and have separate quotas.
Parallel dialing works by using multiple lines to dial out several phone numbers at once (in Elto's case, up to 6 numbers concurrently). AI-powered parallel dialers (like Elto) attach AI listeners to each call, which detect whether the call goes to voicemail, is answered by an IVR, or is picked up by a human. In cases where a human does answer, Elto immediately drops the user into the call; otherwise, Elto drops voicemail recordings or handles the IVR in the background.
For sales teams with heavy quotas, parallel dialers (and especially AI parallel dialers) are by far the most effective solutions. They multiply the number of outbound calls that a rep can make in a day, while ensuring that reps are actively engaged in conversations, not listening to voicemails or IVRs.
The best parallel dialers are AI parallel dialers, and the best AI parallel dialers integrate natively with sales platforms to manage contacts and write back call notes & dispositions. We might be biased, but we believe that Elto, with native integrations to Apollo.io, Outreach, Salesloft, Hubspot, Salesforce, and more, is the most versatile AI parallel dialer on the market.
So, What's the Difference?
Power dialing is manually controlled, while the other two types of dialing use automation.
Predictive dialing uses algorithms to predict when an agent will be available and when a call is likely to be answered, which is useful for call centers but not for sales floors.
Parallel dialing uses multiple lines to dial out several phone numbers at once, while power and predictive dialing generally use a single line.
AI parallel dialers attach AI listeners to each call, to detect outcomes like voicemails, IVRs, human pickups, etc.
While each method is effective in its own way, choosing the right method depends on your sales goals and workflows.
Choosing the right dialer type can be the difference between a productive day of outreach and a frustrating waste of time. Understanding the differences between power dialing, parallel dialing, and predictive dialing can help you identify which option is best suited for your specific sales needs.
For B2B sales teams, especially those with long lead lists and aggressive quotas, parallel dialers can be make-or-break. The easiest way to see how a parallel dialer could work for you is to try one out yourself — get started with Elto today to multiply your outbound in minutes.
Photo credits to Sarah B on Unsplash